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Jack Evans with his petitions

All seven of the major mayoral candidates turned in at least double the amount of signatures due today to make April’s primary ballot, according to their campaigns.

It’s hard to independently quantify how many signatures the campaigns turned in, since the campaigns only turn in the stacks of stacks of petitions pages. Without his own count, then, LL’s relying on estimates from the campaigns themselves. Below, what each candidate is saying they brought in:

  • Jack Evans: 10,287
  • Muriel Bowser: 9,000
  • Vince Gray: 8,200
  • Vincent Orange: 6,300
  • Reta Lewis: 6,000
  • Tommy Wells: 5,400
  • Andy Shallal: 4,500

Gray’s haul should put to rest the idea, based on his late start date and questionable choice of analogies, that he wouldn’t make the ballot. But supporters hoping to see Gray back on the campaign trail will have to wait until his Jan. 11 campaign kick-off at Ward 8’s THEARC. Campaign manager Chuck Thies says Gray is too busy being mayor to turn in his own signatures, as Evans did today.

“He hasn’t the time for campaign paperwork,” Thies writes to LL.

Like finance disclosures, the campaigns use signatures to signal that they’re doing well. But unlike contributions, which can go towards buying mailers and candidate-branded condoms, signatures past 2,000 are only useful for providing a cushion against challenges.

There is one more use for the data provided on the petitions, though: as fodder for a campaign’s mailing list. 

“They’re going to be much more likely to take a yard sign,” Evans campaign manager Josh Brown says of the people who signed.

Photo by Will Sommer